Dacorum Local Plan consultation - not only extended, but made real

January 29, 2021 7:48 PM
Originally published by Hemel Hempstead Liberal Democrats
Things have finally been moving for local residents, on Dacorum's Local Plan - the "Emerging Strategy for Growth", after Lib Dem calls for non-digital outreach gained traction and public attendance at online Council meetings spiked for the second time of asking.
The "regulation 18" consultation has been extended until 28th February, after pressure from residents and a Written Question by Cllr Sally Symington meant that the issue could not be ignored.
Lib Dem Councillors continue to call for further extension until after the current Covid restrictions, with all 1-4 vulnerable groups obviously still on lockdown until March.
Following more controversy and argument on 13th, the consultation information has also now been summarised in a 20 page hard-copy guide, delivered door to door to all households in the Borough - have you seen yours?
Bringing the Motion on more Social Housing, Lib Dem Cllr Adrian England asked:

"With 8,000 people currently on the Dacorum Housing Register, and the draft Dacorum Local Plan contemplating planning the building of 16,600 homes in 18 years, how many local people from that register will be better-housed?"

Thanks to a Liberal Democrat initiative shaped with Conservative additions producing a workable agreement at Full Council on Wednesday 13th January, this question will soon be answered and quantified, with more Social Rent homes being planned for Dacorum residents.

The Motion, which was amended and then passed unanimously, means there will be a clear statement of a quantified target range in the Local Plan, for the levels of Social Rent housing which could be achieved in the coming years.

Responding to Cllr England's Motion, in the Conservative amendment, Cllr Griffiths the Housing Portfolio Holder pointed to Conservative Council-building since 2013, and promised to look at all routes to addressing ways to provide more Social Rent housing, provided the financial case is feasible.

Cllr England said: "The whole Council has achieved two important things tonight. "First, we have jointly recognised the need for some targets for addressing our social-rent housing plans, as part of the whole range. This Plan is crucial; given the assessments it is based on, this eighteen year period will be a one-off opportunity to build enough Council homes for people."

"Second, there is also now an instruction from all Councillors to define what we mean by "affordable housing" in this Plan, and I am really pleased that this aspect of the extended consultation will receive some clarification, as a product of this Motion."

This means that the 8,000 people on Dacorum's Housing Register have more hope of the much-needed housing being built.

Portfolio Holder Cllr Graham Sutton promised Councillor England he would give details of the full extent of public interest, as he conceded the three week extension.
Two weeks later and still waiting...
YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE AND HAVE YOUR SAY ...with these articles